Remember Fortnite? Epic's base-building action game? It'd be understandable if you didn't; it was first announced three years ago and has been shrouded largely in mystery ever since.
Until now, that is. GameInformer announced that its May cover will center around the game, suggesting that significant progress has been made -- and, even better for those intrigued by the prospect, alpha sign-ups are now open.
Fortnite is a survival game, but unlike other popular examples of the genre such as Rust, DayZ and Minecraft, there's a bit more structure to it. There's RPG-style progression, campaigns that unfold across procedurally generated worlds, and player-versus-player battles. There'll be plenty of base-building, of course -- hence the name -- but it sounds as if the main emphasis will be on surviving against the hordes of incoming monsters and, as is traditional, taking their stuff once they've been obliterated by your array of heavy weaponry. Epic describes it as "an action game with some elements of building" rather than a building-centric game.
Fortnite is designed to be a number of things. Firstly, it's designed to be tangible proof that Epic isn't just about doing gritty brown-colored third-person shooters called Gears of War -- it can also do brightly colored titles with an aesthetic somewhat reminiscent of Borderlands. Secondly, it's designed to be a showcase for Unreal Engine 4 running on PC. Thirdly, it's pretty clear that it's Epic having a much-needed opportunity to just go nuts with their creativity and enjoy themselves rather than being shackled to an existing IP. And, as a result, it looks like it could potentially be a lot of fun.
If you'd like to be in with a chance of checking the game out for yourself, head on over to the alpha sign-up page and answer a few simple questions. An official site popped up online briefly with some basic information about the game, but at the time of writing appears to have been taken down -- presumably until the May issue of GameInformer has been released.